Office Space

The Power of Place for Wedding Pros
Shannon Underwood

Complex relationships form between people and the places they frequent. If you, as a wedding pro, understand reactions to external environments, you can better manipulate the bride’s internal reactions. You control first impressions, bypass deal-breakers, boost employee productivity, and ability to close the sale.

First Impressions

What we know: Brides form first opinions about you with very little information. They tend to remember initial interactions with the most weight. The impressions don’t necessarily have anything to do with your personality or business merit, but more often with the environment around you.

What you can do: Control your surroundings to work in your favor. If you serve coffee, tea or hot chocolate, the bride will see you as a warm and caring person. If you sit at a wobbly table, she will see your company as unstable. Be in control. Meet the bride at your office or at a location where you can control noise level, seating arrangements, and lighting.

hanging photos

Your Office

What we know: Both Feng Shui (and common sense!) state that the entrance to your office emphasizes what is important to your company.

What you can do: Create an ID Wall display. Keep your Polaroid camera on hand to snap each of all your clients. Add their names and wedding date. This signals to both your wedding couples and employees that you are a people-centered business. Putting photos front and center forges an immediate human connection and breaks down our tech-driven culture. Maybe after the 9th email from your bride Kaylynn, your staff will pause before they hit send on a snarky email as they look at her sweet face and connect the emotional dots.

unicorn tears

Make It New

What we know: Novelty heightens our adrenaline response. This explains why we don’t feel as jet-lagged after a long flight as soon Buckingham Palace comes into view, but coming home we always feel drained.

What you can do: Showcase your weddings that are thought-provoking and eye-catching to inspire high-energy meetings. Provide brides with Prismacolor pencils and paper to sketch you her favorite dress, floral bouquet, or invitation. Hang clever sayings around your office space. Put a different twist on the mundane. Show your creativity.

Brainstorming

What we know: Physical creativity blockers are real. Hiding behind a computer screen or desk will block the flow of new ideas.

What you can do: The Campfire configuration can dramatically impact the quality of new ideas you produce. The posture and arrangement of sitting low to the ground in a tight circle feels safe, making this configuration ideal for taking about sensitive subjects or creating new ideas. Low and informal seating equalizes all staff members or clients. You can sit on the ground or use beanbags.

brainstorming

Product Placement

What we know: If we want our wedding couples to use an item we make it more readily available. We have all used a public restroom that restricts the use of toilet paper or paper towels. As you spin the roll, it betrays you and retracts backwards. So annoying.

What you can do:
The Cookie Jar Theory says that people will eat as many cookies that are available…because dessert is delicious. If you want an item to be used fluidly, provide as many items as possible with a buffer.
Use More:
• Branded water bottles for clients
• Post-it notes
• Message pads and notebooks
• White Boards

post it notes


4 Responses

  1. Great article Shannon. I have a combination of awards, and pictures and thank you cards as well as some wedding props – such as my big sign Just Married which I nearly always get a picture on the day with couples holding. Lots of books about wedding related subjects etc on the bookshelf. It gets to a state of subliminal osmosis at times and it’s been proven that if can get a beverage (especially warm one) in their hands they will indeed think of you in a positive manner.

    • Ron, It sounds like you took some psychology classes in college; or is it the years of first hand experience? What do you do differently now when you meet with a client than you used to?

      • No Psych classes just sales books and seminars and videos etc. I think now the two major changes are Awards (on display in office, that helps) and having a far more relaxed take on things. (Absolutely no pressure).

  2. Kelly Erdos says:

    I love the idea of thinking more critically about where I meet with brides. Not sure that Starbucks is really the best pick.


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